October 31, 1999

The most unlikely pair of twins since Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger just might be the daughter cells of the tiny Caulobacter crescentus bacterium. Caulobacter cells reproduce by giving rise to a pair of offspring -- one that swims and one that is rooted onto a stalk. The twins are different in other ways as well. The stalked twin immediately begins replicating its DNA in preparation for another cell division whereas the swimmer delays replicating its DNA until later in the cell cycle, after it sheds its flagellum and forms a stalk of its own. The Caulobacter crescentus study is part of a larger research program to better understand how cells regulate their growth and differentiation. Any disruption in these normal processes can eventually lead to cancer and other diseases. According to ONR Program Officer Eric Eisenstadt, understanding the architecture and logic of the cell's operating system could reveal new design principles for operating autonomous unmanned devices. In recently published reports, the Stanford researchers have determined that a "master regulator" protein prevents DNA replication from happening at the wrong time in the cell cycle. By carefully coordinating DNA replication with other events in the cell cycle, the Caulobacter ensures that each progeny cell, swarmer or stalked, ends up with the correct number of gene-bearing chromosomes. Recent research shows that the master regulator itself is controlled by processes within the cell.

Office of Naval Research

Related DNA Articles from Brightsurf:

A new twist on DNA origami
A team* of scientists from ASU and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) led by Hao Yan, ASU's Milton Glick Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, and director of the ASU Biodesign Institute's Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, has just announced the creation of a new type of meta-DNA structures that will open up the fields of optoelectronics (including information storage and encryption) as well as synthetic biology.

Solving a DNA mystery
''A watched pot never boils,'' as the saying goes, but that was not the case for UC Santa Barbara researchers watching a ''pot'' of liquids formed from DNA.

Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing
When you don't understand how things work, it's not unusual to think of them as just plain old junk.

Designing DNA from scratch: Engineering the functions of micrometer-sized DNA droplets
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have constructed ''DNA droplets'' comprising designed DNA nanostructures.

Does DNA in the water tell us how many fish are there?
Researchers have developed a new non-invasive method to count individual fish by measuring the concentration of environmental DNA in the water, which could be applied for quantitative monitoring of aquatic ecosystems.

Zigzag DNA
How the cell organizes DNA into tightly packed chromosomes. Nature publication by Delft University of Technology and EMBL Heidelberg.

Scientists now know what DNA's chaperone looks like
Researchers have discovered the structure of the FACT protein -- a mysterious protein central to the functioning of DNA.

DNA is like everything else: it's not what you have, but how you use it
A new paradigm for reading out genetic information in DNA is described by Dr.

A new spin on DNA
For decades, researchers have chased ways to study biological machines.

From face to DNA: New method aims to improve match between DNA sample and face database
Predicting what someone's face looks like based on a DNA sample remains a hard nut to crack for science.

Read More: DNA News and DNA Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to